By Badejo Adeola
The Commissioner for Agriculture in Kwara State, Hon Bamidele Adegoke has allayed fear arising from the recent news of a new strain of avian influenza virus commonly called bird flu.
The specie of the virus, which is technically termed H5N8, was said to have been discovered in the country lately.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, during a meeting with Commissioners of Agriculture and Directors of Veterinary Services from the 36 states of the country, said that the virus had spread to 26 states of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He added that the attack has affected over 3.5 million birds. The minister stated that due to the development, neighbouring countries have placed a ban on poultry products from Nigeria.
However, the Commissioner in a telephone conversation with our reporter on Saturday, said that bird flu is predominantly noticed in the northern part of Nigeria of which Kwara State is not among the affected states.
According to him, “the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, during a consultative meeting with us uncovered the entrance and scourge of the new strain of avian influenza virus.
“Measures to put a stop to the further spread of the virus were discussed at the meeting. Happily, Kwara State is not part of the affected states. The states affected were predominantly in the northern part of the country,” Adegoke disclosed.
When our reporter visited University of Ilorin Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Sabo Oke, a management staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the spread of the virus in some states but said there have been no records or reports of bird flu in the hospital.
He said, “I think the proper place to get information of this nature is the state Ministry of Agriculture …but as far as we know in this place, we have not recorded any case of bird flu”
A poultry farmer, who runs Kenny Success Feeds at Odota, Kehinde Adeoti when contacted, said he was not aware of any case of bird flu attack.
“I am not aware of any case of bird flu attack. I have no such experience on my farm as my birds are doing fine and healthy,” he stated.